Transformation of the Day: Tanja lost 70 pounds. She is a nurse and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. Last year, her precious mother died in a house fire, and she felt like giving up. However, her husband’s love and the promise she made to her mother kept her going. She shared with us how she released the weight.
I remember crying and just bawling my eyes out in yoga class. I was the biggest girl and the only Black girl in the class, and I was crying that exasperated breath/hiccup cry. Can you imagine me, Mrs. “I Got It All Together” Salary crying because I could not cross my legs in the Lotus position? I thought, “Lord, I can’t even cross my legs anymore!” It was at this moment that I realized that I was o-v-e-r being overweight.
After a year of seeking medical advice, I consented to have the VSG, or vertical-gastric sleeve weight loss surgery. After COVID hit, my surgery was canceled with no future date.
As life would have it, my precious mother died in a house fire during the same time frame! I wanted to just give up and curl in a ball. However, my husband and a promise I made to my mother inspired me to keep going.
So I had the surgery in July 2020 and changed my eating habits to portion-controlled vegetables and high protein foods. I substituted some meats with veggie ground meat, and I eliminated refined sugar. I also increased my water intake to 70-90 ounces per day. Sixty-three pounds lighter, and one year later, I continue to log my foods daily via an app on my phone called Baritastic.
Most importantly, I began to exercise. Each week I walked at least 1 hour per day. Then I added 3-4 days of virtual work-outs, doing cardio and strength training (15- 30 minute classes).
My starting height and weight was 5 foot, 2 inches tall and 250 pounds of solid awesomeness! My current weight is 180 pounds of double-awesomeness.
The most valuable lesson I have learned is that it is ok to take care of yourself. As a nurse, my purpose is to take care of God’s people; however, I did not practice the self-care habits I was teaching my patients.
Ladies, do not overthink ways to become healthier. Our journeys and opportunities to improve our self-care are not the same. But that “feel good” goal represents the common theme for those of us who choose our weight loss journeys. So go ahead and jumpstart your self-care journey to who you want to be and how you want to feel! It’s ok to choose you.